Bureau of Immigration, Clark, Pampanga, Philippines / Right to travel

1 Baguio, Philippines

I don't know where I can voice out my disgust about our government system. Things need to change if we are to aspire for development. My questions are: (1) Don't we, as Filipinos, have the right to travel to place in the world we desire as long as we have the means to do so and the host country we want to visit is open? (2) What rights do immigration officers have to stop anyone from leaving the country when you have not done or violated any law here and abroad? (3) What are the basis (by Philippine Law) of such officers to deny such travel?

Let me relate 3 different stories that really make me feel disgusted, embarrassed and ashamed of my own country. My nephew were traveling to Thailand last June of 2013. They were to study Thai language to become a missionary in Thailand. They bought tickets and prepared all needed documents for such endeavor. But for no definite reason, they were held in the immigration and were not allowed to leave. The officer was asking documents in which they all provided. It seemed that they were only trying to delay them so they could not go into the flight scheduled for them. Eventually, they were allowed to leave; but after purchasing another tickets because they already missed their flight. The only reason we saw in this incident was a POWER TRIPPING immigration officer or the officer is in cahoots with the airlines in giving those paid seats to others.

The second incident happened last November of 2013. I was traveling myself to Thailand via Clark. When it was time to board, the line was held back because a certain officer again was denying two ladies in their 30s to board with the reason that they don't have any letter proving that they were invited to visit someone in Thailand. Poor ladies, they spent so much money for nothing.

The third incident happened just few days ago when two of our staffs were trying to go do some Christian ministry and leisure trip. They were not allowed to leave the country the officer was having some kind of power tripping and just decided to not allow them. Again, they have wasted money for nothing. The only reason the officer gave was that some Filipinos are going to Thailand as a tourist then find a job there. So what if that is the case? Is that the problem of the immigration officer to police every Filipino going out of the country? Isn't that the job of the Thai government? This is just a piece of garbage.

May I call the attention of the whole bureau, please look into this? Don't enslave your own people. You are there because these people are paying for your bread and butter. Shame on you. Are your people just asking for a "lagay."?

May 8, 2014

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